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Old 11-18-2014, 06:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I just ordered a small water softener just so I don't have to use so much Barkeeper's Friend to keep the rust stains out of the shower and toilet bowl.
Since the stains are yellow, not rust-colored, the contaminant is probably not iron. Or rather, not entirely iron. It could be caused by "iron bacteria" a relatively harmless microorganism that is not treated by a water softener.

The best solution to remove iron bacteria is chlorination. The sanitizing treatment that you periodically do to your freshwater system will kill iron bacteria, but that doesn't help to treat your drinking water. Trace amounts of chlorine (less than 4.0 ppm in the form of pure chlorine or chloramine, 0.8 ppm in the form or chlorine dioxide) is considered safe to drink, and as long as there is any detectable chlorine in the water, iron bacteria will be killed. At the very least, before you leave the campgrounds that have iron bacteria in the well water, sanitize your freshwater system to make sure you're not carrying any iron bacteria to the next campground!

Since you already have the water softener, there is another treatment for iron bacteria, slightly less effective than drinking chlorinated water. The water softener will help, but only if it's hooked up in series with a granular activated carbon pre-filter. In other words, use a large carbon filter and the softener, with the water going through the carbon filter first. But still sanitize your system before moving to the next campground.
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Since the stains are yellow, not rust-colored, the contaminant is probably not iron. Or rather, not entirely iron. It could be caused by "iron bacteria" a relatively harmless microorganism that is not treated by a water softener.

The best solution to remove iron bacteria is chlorination. The sanitizing treatment that you periodically do to your freshwater system will kill iron bacteria, but that doesn't help to treat your drinking water. Trace amounts of chlorine (less than 4.0 ppm in the form of pure chlorine or chloramine, 0.8 ppm in the form or chlorine dioxide) is considered safe to drink, and as long as there is any detectable chlorine in the water, iron bacteria will be killed. At the very least, before you leave the campgrounds that have iron bacteria in the well water, sanitize your freshwater system to make sure you're not carrying any iron bacteria to the next campground!

Since you already have the water softener, there is another treatment for iron bacteria, slightly less effective than drinking chlorinated water. The water softener will help, but only if it's hooked up in series with a granular activated carbon pre-filter. In other words, use a large carbon filter and the softener, with the water going through the carbon filter first. But still sanitize your system before moving to the next campground.
I misspoke, the water is off color (yellowish) but the stains are pure rust orange/red and only the oxalic? acid in Zud or Barkeepers Friend will cut through them. Virginia Beach CITY water is very nice, but get a well and the toilet bowl will look like it's having a period within a week or two. No bowl cleaner made gets it looking good, and don't even look inside the tank. Before I found "Zud" years ago, a friend and I had a contest to try to get the bowl back to white. We actually thought the rusty stain had etched through the porcelain glaze. Ever try to clean a toilet bowl with Brillo? Bleach? Comet? five standard toilet bowl cleaners? Sprinkled the Zud in and started yelling - the stains just started fading almost immediately!
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Old 11-18-2014, 08:55 AM   #17
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Paula, I definitely recommend the softener. It really cuts down on the white spotting, and best of all, drastically reduces the fouling of the faucet outlet openings and white in the nooks and crannies for the fixtures. But, in relying on my fathers rural well iron issue from years past, I don't think a softener will help with the iron staining. I believe you'll need an iron filter for that. I haven't researched if any compact RV suitable units are out there...there may be.

This is the softener I got. There are a bunch out there, but this one was desirable for me as it fits in a standard "sewer hose tube" mounted under the AS. I installed a 46" one so that I could also store a PVc filter and softener stand I made in there. I did beef up the mounting of the tube, as the whole loaded tube weighs 13#s.

Water Softener | Amerisoft-Compact PortaGold 200 In-Line Mobile Water Softener: SmallSpacesAppliances.com

Performance has been great.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:02 AM   #18
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Here's a manganese greensand filter that will definitely remove the iron…
Iron Removal Filter
Manganese greensand is the best filter medium for removing iron, and this is probably the smallest filter I've found of that type.

If you get one, put it in the system after the carbon filter (if you use one on your hose) and before the water softener.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:07 AM   #19
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Here's a thread where I was putting the stowage together:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ase-99619.html

It has worked out fine for 3 years and about 12,000 miles so far with no sign of trying to fall off.

EDITed the above post....some of my numbers were off...memory sucks!
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